Past 12-Month Benefit Success

Discussion in 'Share Your Personal Experience' started by AnnieN, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. AnnieN

    AnnieN Newbie

    It's almost hard for me to believe, but after three and a half months the VA has decided to approve our claim for an additional twelve months of benefits prior to our initial A & A claim approval. The possibility was described in our initial claim approval and instructions were provided. I followed up with all the information (lots of work!) thinking that it was probably a lost cause because net worth was greater than 80K, but the medical expenses reduced the income to zero and the new claim was approved. I'll be watching my LO's checking account since it is direct deposit.

    The one thing that gives me pause is about the fiduciary decision. My LO requested that I be appointed fiduciary and waived the 60 day and Brady bill process. However, this paperwork says that "We finished the review and decided that you are not competent for VA purposes. The evidence shows that your disability keeps you from ably managing your VA benefits. Therefore, we will find someone to manage them for you".

    That someone should be me. I wonder if we should submit another request for me to be fiduciary? Or maybe I'll get a call any day for an appointment. Hard to know when to act and when to wait. Any ideas?
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    There should have been a form with the letter, but it sounds as though there was not. Fill out a 21-22a and make sure it is the one with the "a" and not 21-22. Include a letter that you are requesting to be appointed as the fiduciary. Make certain to send it to the office you received the correspondence from and send Return Receipt.
  3. new57

    new57 Newbie


    Congrats on the back payments,

    Having just completed the Fiduciary process, I can tell you that I received the same wording as you did.

    We had waived the 60 day, brady bill, etc and asked for me to be appointed (I used form 21-4138/Statement in Support of Claim).

    I did call the pension center to make sure that they understood the request; they said yes, a rep will contacting me for the interview.

    Four months later, I was appointed.

  4. GailA

    GailA Newbie

    Annie - could you please provide a little more information on how you got the VA to go back another 12 months? It has taken me 9 months to get the award for my widowed mother; the monthly amount started in direct deposit, but like you they are holding the 9 month retroactive payment until they go through their process and appoint me as fiduciary. I don't know if you are aware of this but you are actually having to work with 2 different departments in the VA. The first only handles the awards. Then it goes to a second department that oversees fiduciary appointments and will only start their process after the official award. So far I have been sitting in their files 5 months now waiting for them to declare her incompetent (the first department's award only "proposes" incompetency). Then they start the interview process to appoint a fiduciary. If you can go back 12 months prior to your claim filing date this would be an enormous help to me as well as I'm sure many other people. Many thanks!
  5. AnnieN

    AnnieN Newbie

    Hi Gail, sorry I didn't see your post earlier. When my Mom, the veteran, received her approved claim decision the award letter had a section on the fourth page that said, "You May Be Entitled To Pension Up To One Year Prior To the Date Of Your Claim". They enclosed a VA Form 21-0510, Eligibility Verification Report Instructions, and asked me to complete Form 21-0516-1 Improved Pension Eligibility Verification Report and Form 21-8416, Medical Expense Report showing income, net worth and un-reimbursed medical expenses for three time periods. They gave me one year to send the evidence in, but asked for it in 30 days if possible. If you don't have this section in your award letter, maybe the veteran isn't eligible? I don't know.

    At the time that I was filling out the forms, there was a thread on this topic. It is at:,836.0.html. You can also find it by searching on "prior". It took about three months for them to process this second claim.

    On the fiduciary issue, thanks for letting me know about the two departments. That makes sense. With the initial award they proposed incompetency. With this claim they decided that she is not competent for VA purposes. I guess we're waiting for the interview process. I called yesterday and they told me that they would only appoint someone else if I am denied first. That is reassuring. Hope this helps. Annie
  6. AnnieN

    AnnieN Newbie

    Fiduciary Interview Today

    So we had our fiduciary interviews today and all went well. Here's how our process went: On May 28 2010 I faxed a 21-4138 Statement in Support of Claim to the VA from my Mom, the Veteran, waiving the 60 day waiting period for a finding of incompetence and all due process including the Brady Act. I also mailed a copy with return receipt. In a month, I called to ask about progress. I was told it could take up to 16 weeks to complete but since my Mom had asked for me to be fiduciary, they would only appoint someone else if I were denied. Yesterday (one day short of 16 weeks) I received a call from a VA representative telling me that he would be in my city today and could interview me and my mother.

    It really wasn't bad. We met with the VA rep at the Assisted Living Facility (ALF) and he chatted companionably for a few minutes with my mother and observed her dementia by asking a few simple questions "what year is it?", "Who is the President of the U.S.?", "What day is it". She missed two out of three. My Mom went to lunch and he and I sat down to do paperwork. I signed a Fiduciary Agreement (Form 21-4703) and a Fiduciary Statement in Support of Appointment (Form 21-0792). I showed him her latest bank statement, living trust account statement and we went over her monthly income and medical costs. Basically, I reiterated what I had put down on the Form 21-526 application. Two people at the ALF provided a verbal character reference and we were done. I will have to open a custodial bank account and submit a one-time accounting to the VA of how the funds are spent in about a year.

    I should get some acknowledgment from the VA by Nov. 1st and a copy of all the paperwork. I asked for a copy of all papers that I signed from the VA Rep before he left. All in all, I thought it was very reasonable considering that they are willing to send her checks.
  7. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member


    Thank you for taking the time to post your experience. So many get anxious about this meeting, and most of the times it goes as it did for you. I'm sure many here will be relieved to learn what they can anticipate.

    So glad it all has worked out for you and your mom.

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